Sunday, March 26, 2023

Netflix We Can Be Heroes live review

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There have been plenty of films released this year that seem oddly topical, from the zombie flick #Alive to the legal drama The Trial of the Chicago 7. Robert Rodriguez’s new superhero film We Can Be Heroes, no. doesn’t feel like it’s (unintentionally) towards 2020, but rather towards the future, as his film declares that those who will truly be able to save the world are the children – and everyone should just shut up and let them work. While this is a colorful superhero show, We Can Be Heroes nonetheless feels like Rodriguez’s most personal project in years. We Can Be Heroes takes place in a world full of superheroes, who work together under the banner “The Heroics”. But when an army of aliens kidnaps every superhero on Earth, it’s up to their overpowered children to do something. The film was widely marketed as the return of the previous superhero duo of Rodriguez, Sharkboy and Lavagirl, but this is not their film. Sure, they introduce themselves – and there’s even a singing-loving Sharkboy joke, presumably in reference to the pop classic “Sharkboy’s Lullaby” – but original Sharkboy actor Taylor Lautner has been replaced by stunt actor JJ Dashnaw and this dynamic duo is not the subject of this film.

Instead, we follow Missy Moreno (Yaya Gosselin), the daughter of the hero leader, Marcus (Pedro Pascal). While she doesn’t have any superpowers and is generally a shy girl who spends her morning deciding what outfit is most likely to get other kids to leave her alone, she alone can make a group of 11 mismatched superkids. While the script mostly follows the same story beats you’d expect, Rodriguez performs those beats on a T, creating a kid-friendly response to The Avengers that feels like his own nonetheless.

One of the ways the film does this is by presenting inventive superpowers that we don’t often see in such films. While the grown-ups are your typical superhero squad that includes a Superman replacement (Boyd Holbrook), a guy with super speed (Sung Kang), and a Cyborg-type techie (Christian Slater), the powers of tweens are lesser versions of what their parents can do. The son of the film’s response to The Flash only works in slow motion, the son of the techie who can do it all has all the powers in the book, but can never control them. A pair of twins have full control of the time, but only when they are working together, otherwise they can only fast forward or backward a few minutes. The pseudo-Superman’s son is a wheelchair user whose “legs are too strong to be supported by his bones.” Through them, the film conveys its main theme: children are actually more powerful and capable of saving the world than their parents. It’s just that they’re conditioned to think differently.Rodriguez’s family outing has always been about kids saving the day while saving their parents, but We Can Be Heroes feels like the first time he’s said anything with these movies. It’s not only that adults are too self-centered and would rather argue and fight with each other than get things done, but that younger generations need to be trusted to solve the many problems their parents have left them. . With We Can Be Heroes, Rodriguez takes on the world he leaves behind for his children and makes sure to encourage them to do better than his generation.

It is therefore no coincidence that We Can Be Heroes is not presented as a Troublemaker Studios film, but as a Double R Production, referring to the production company Rodriguez formed with his sons Racer and Rebel. Indeed, the author of Rebel Without a Crew is renowned for having assumed several roles in his films and having employed most of his family to help them achieve them. While Rodriguez directed, wrote, produced, shot and edited this film, his son Racer co-produced it, Rebel composed the score and major elements of the production design for the film were directed by Rogue and Rhiannon Rodriguez.

We Can Be Heroes has a unique aesthetic that seems to be the logical step forward of Spy Kids and The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl in 3-D. It’s still very colorful and cartoonish, especially the sets introduced in the third act, but now they don’t feel just meant for young people but rather created by young people. This film is the closest thing to the spirit of the classic Nickelodeon of the late ’80s and early’ 90s.

In an era when superhero movies dominate both the box office and the pop culture conversation, there are surprisingly few that directly target children, the primary target audience for which comics were created. originally. Robert Rodriguez’s We Can Be Heroes aspires to fill that void with a happy, upbeat story for kids that inspires them to be better than their parents and save the world, while delivering all the thrills you expect from super movies. mainstream hero as adults also take pleasure.

Spotlight on Netflix: December 2020


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